Peru had rescinded Nicolas Maduro's invitation to the Summit of Americas, but Venezuela's president has other ideas. The Eighth Summit of the Americas will be held on April 13 and 14, 2018 in Lima, Peru.
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday he isn't above crashing a party after his invitation was yanked to a regional meeting of leaders in the Western Hemisphere.
Maduro is determined to show up for the Summit of the Americas, an April gathering of regional leaders in Lima, Peru. President Donald Trump is also invited but hasn't said whether he'll attend.
"Rain, shine or lightning — by air, land or sea — I will get to the Summit of the Americas to tell the truth of this country," Maduro declared at a news conference of international journalists. "Don't you want to see me in Lima?"
Showing up could be awkward. Peru says Maduro is no longer welcomed to the meeting it's hosting. Peru is backed by a dozen Latin American countries who say Maduro's government is breaking the rules of democracy.
They say the crisis-wracked country's ruling party is plowing ahead with snap presidential elections stacked in Maduro's favor by blocking many of the most popular opposition candidates. The United States has said it will reject the outcome of the election set for April 22.
Once one of Latin America's wealthiest nations, Venezuela is gripped by a deepening economic and political crisis after nearly two decades of socialist rule.
Venezuela sits atop the world's largest oil reserves, but crude production has plummeted under mismanagement and corruption inside the state-run oil company. Inflation is soaring as residents who find it increasingly difficult to find food and medicine are leaving — many crossing on foot into neighboring Colombia and Brazil.
Speaking to journalists at the Presidential Palace in Caracas, Maduro also deflected threats U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made in a recent tour of Latin America. Tillerson said that increasing sanctions against Venezuela aimed at breaking Maduro's grip on power could include an embargo on oil.
Maduro said, however, that such a move would come at a greater political cost to President Trump. If the U.S. decides not to buy Venezuela's oil shipments, Maduro said, "We would go to other destinations."